The magic is basically gone 5/26 thru 6/2

DrummerBoy523

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Arrival Thur May 26
Departure Thur June 2
6 Day non hopper tix
POFQ - Room 5234

Pros
  • We absolutely love POFQ. A small resort with everything we desire. We were close to the pool and they have a great pool bar - highly recommend the Mai Tai
  • The dining hall is a typical Disney set up. Food is mediocre and priced high.
  • Was happy to see that they had yogurt parfaits pre-made and ready to take back to the room for early morning breakfasts. Had granola bars and Kind bars also as options
  • Room was clean
  • Bus service was typically earlier than the stated arrival time
  • Loved the new feature on MDE telling when the next bus would depart from resort
  • Missed an ADR in the Mexican Pav due to GOTG going down for over an hour while we were in line. They still found us a table and seated us within 20 mins!
  • DOLE WHIP. nuff said.
  • Mobile ordering is GREAT!
  • Used Mears transportation - same place as old Express. Quick and easy. Another thing Disney has taken away.
Cons
  • Disney nickel and diming. Have to spend $130 on airport transfer now. Ugh
  • Hate the new Genie+ What a rip off.
    • Nobody should have to get up at 7am on their vacation to plan their day. Just ludicrous
  • ILL$$$ Another rip off
    • Nobody should have to pay EXTRA to ride a ride, nor should they have to get up at 7am on top of that and still NOT be guaranteed a slot
  • CMs just don't seem happy. No magic. Any time you have a problem, the reply is "Go to the Blue Tent"
  • We criss-crossed the parks so many times. averaged 18K steps per day.
  • ETPE - This basically makes every park crowded. Gone are the days when you could skip over the park with AM-EMHs and avoid crowds. Now you just have to get up, suck it up and act like you are happy about it LOL
  • The MDE app sucks. What more can I say? Multiple crashes on my iphone - once at 7am on a HS day. Luckily my wife was up helping that day or our entire day would have been wasted.
  • EPCOT is so ugly with all the construction - I know, progress progress progress, but forced us to walk a lot more than usual
  • Soarin' needs to update their pre-boarding movie. It's 2022, not 1995
  • Dinosaur, sadly, has seen better days. Honestly, AK is now a half day park for us if we go back
OK, so I could go on and on - but bottom line is that the magic is gone for our family and we love Disney. It will be a LONG time, if ever, when we return. Disney will have to change some things first before I will even consider it. This isn't some baseless threat - just saying that the way it is now sucks and I will not go back if I have to get up at 6:45 every day of my vacation in hopes to get a desired genie+ ride. Just dumb.

Signed,

Grumpy Drummer.
 

Yarbogash

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 2, 2006
Thanks for this. Helps with our planning and expectations. Hope you have a better trip in the future, wherever you go!
 

dmbcanada

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Disney really needs to listen to the people and ditch Genie+ and Lightning Lane, no one wants to wake up for 7am on vacation or be locked to your phone. Bring back Fast Pass and have some sort of Free Transportation from MCO. I hope after 50 year celebration is done that Disney takes a look at bringing some of the old Magic back.
 

Daddy's 'lil Princess

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 17, 2022
Good read. Makes my heart hurt a little bit as I hear frequently that with all the changes going on good and or bad, Will we be able to really enjoy the vacation? Granted WE have nothing to compare it to. WE are not a Entitlement family by any means. This isnt implying those that dont like the improvements or changes are, I just simply mean we are a roll with punches kind of family and Play the concerns as they arise. We will obviously have a more pronounced opinion after the fact. (dad will try not to go BILL BURR and get us kicked out of the parks by offending someone, somehow :). Saying this For people that have NEVER BEEN we lack a comparrison so hopefully we wont miss it or feel a lack of magic. (fingers crossed) really this is for the little one and MOM, DAD will probably hit kid mode once we are their and relaxing a bit.
TOTALLY agree with the MDE app (again havent tried ) BUT have played and seen reviews. Getting up that early SIMPLY for selections seems a tad extreme. AND also the fact to do so requires additional $$. What i see is im paying to Get up early book something that may or may not work on vacations. I feel they will adjust stuff between the time i write this and the time we depart. AND (sorry everyone) IF (knock on wood it doesnt happen) The economy goes in the tank may change things FOR THE BETTER for the customers.
 

notatallmagic

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Sadly, we feel the same way. We did love POFQ, and found it beautiful and charming (Spring Break 2022). We liked the gumbo and beignets for a special treat.

But...we abhor the taking away value and charging more for it. Magical Express discontinuation was a huge disappointment for us. Room cleanliness was also an issue for us at other resorts. And the nickel and diming, cast member surliness, and need to be tied to technology during vacation...just yuck.

We are trying a SeaWorld trip in a few days; and a Universal trip next year. I tried calling Universal with a question this week, and was knocked over with surprise when they answered their phone on the third ring - and were knowlegeable and pleasant! I had gotten used to 3 hour waits on hold with Disney and nobody knowing anything. I cannot wait for our Discovery Cove day, where I have no intention of taking my phone out of my bag all day - with the exception of a few photos.

Disney has made changes that simply don't fit with many of us. I'm happy for those who can make the "new normal" fit - it just doesn't work for us anymore.
 

prisjoyce

Planner Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
We were there June 6-12, and left feeling the same way. We went in with plenty of previous experience and lowered expectations, and we just couldn't find the pixie dust.

We loved our resort- Beach Club. The location, pool, employees, and overall vibe of that resort was just right for our family.

We had surprisingly good food across the board: sit down and table service.

The Parks have lost their sparkle. CM's seemed unhappy, the waits are ridiculous- and we are a happy-to-rope-drop family, many ride break down's throughout the trip, and even the merchandise is somehow missing: empty shelves, generic merchandise, no variety, and off theming...Toy Story merch in the Figment shop...what?!
We found ride times prohibitively high and despite several visits to each park, we weren't able to ride some of the new ones, or old faves.

It was a very frustrating return to WDW for us and my husband says he is 100% done. That is hard for me to hear as we have so enjoyed our past trips, but I don't think I'll get him back unless there are significant changes, including getting rid of or remodeling G +/LL.
 

Daddy's 'lil Princess

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 17, 2022
We were there June 6-12, and left feeling the same way. We went in with plenty of previous experience and lowered expectations, and we just couldn't find the pixie dust.

We loved our resort- Beach Club. The location, pool, employees, and overall vibe of that resort was just right for our family.

We had surprisingly good food across the board: sit down and table service.

The Parks have lost their sparkle. CM's seemed unhappy, the waits are ridiculous- and we are a happy-to-rope-drop family, many ride break down's throughout the trip, and even the merchandise is somehow missing: empty shelves, generic merchandise, no variety, and off theming...Toy Story merch in the Figment shop...what?!
We found ride times prohibitively high and despite several visits to each park, we weren't able to ride some of the new ones, or old faves.

It was a very frustrating return to WDW for us and my husband says he is 100% done. That is hard for me to hear as we have so enjoyed our past trips, but I don't think I'll get him back unless there are significant changes, including getting rid of or remodeling G +/LL.
awwww..... more NO pixie dust. This kind of bothers me , BUT wont stop us. The real thing i see in these posts and vlogs and guides is most of the unhappiness comes from frequent and or return Guests.
I can totally SEE how this does effect guests for sure especially if you have something to compare it to (previous trips)
My heart hurts hearing these stories as we have never been and am nervous of NOT having an excitement feel or great experience.
SO for all that have never been or have only been once is there MAGIC! or i guess the term is pixie dust? I am not saying people dont have valid issues or points. Im just scared we go at a time where its as is and decide its absolutely NOT worth (for all your reasons) and it prevent us from returning, as i am one of those guys.
(Sounds like your husband is alot like me and has NO issues making these comments and standing ground :)

I remember 9 years ago I worked graveyard shifts wife would pick me up and we always go for DENNYS did this for around 5 years. GOT the wrong waitress once with the wrong cook and service, well lets say i have never NOT left a tip in my life until that day! Needless to say we have never been to DENNYS since. I just refuse.

That is the fear Im facing and i hear all the Gotchya stuff(pixie dust) WDW does to make it so amazing that you just want to come back. I really, really REALLY XD hope i get that FEELING, especially for the little one.
 

paopiru

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 13, 2018
awwww..... more NO pixie dust. This kind of bothers me , BUT wont stop us. The real thing i see in these posts and vlogs and guides is most of the unhappiness comes from frequent and or return Guests.
I can totally SEE how this does effect guests for sure especially if you have something to compare it to (previous trips)
My heart hurts hearing these stories as we have never been and am nervous of NOT having an excitement feel or great experience.
SO for all that have never been or have only been once is there MAGIC! or i guess the term is pixie dust? I am not saying people dont have valid issues or points. Im just scared we go at a time where its as is and decide its absolutely NOT worth (for all your reasons) and it prevent us from returning, as i am one of those guys.
(Sounds like your husband is alot like me and has NO issues making these comments and standing ground :)

I remember 9 years ago I worked graveyard shifts wife would pick me up and we always go for DENNYS did this for around 5 years. GOT the wrong waitress once with the wrong cook and service, well lets say i have never NOT left a tip in my life until that day! Needless to say we have never been to DENNYS since. I just refuse.

That is the fear Im facing and i hear all the Gotchya stuff(pixie dust) WDW does to make it so amazing that you just want to come back. I really, really REALLY XD hope i get that FEELING, especially for the little one.
If pixie dust is missing, try to find magic by yourself. Just being there with your family is magic. The little one will be thrilled anyway, just for the trip and being there with you. If you are grumpy the whole time just for not being able to ride the best rides or just cause you have to wait in line, then that will be what your kid will remember. I understand frustration caused by paying more for less, and depending on your phone for almost everthing- I am not.happy at all about.that.either- but just focus on having a good time no matter what and your experience will be great.
 

Daddy's 'lil Princess

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 17, 2022
If pixie dust is missing, try to find magic by yourself. Just being there with your family is magic. The little one will be thrilled anyway, just for the trip and being there with you. If you are grumpy the whole time just for not being able to ride the best rides or just cause you have to wait in line, then that will be what your kid will remember. I understand frustration caused by paying more for less, and depending on your phone for almost everthing- I am not.happy at all about.that.either- but just focus on having a good time no matter what and your experience will be great.
Absolutely! She is a very happy go lucky little girl. Best rides are or were never a top priority for us as 90% of rides and attractions are more extras than must do's. Of course we have our choices, SHe doesnt care as much regarding rides yet? As just turned 6 in march has never been on a ride in her life...Except those little coin operated Mall rides when she was smaller. So no fear of missing out in her eyes. CHaracters I think is her goal which really puts dad in the driver seat to find and execute character encounters. I have been using the Disney APP to check through out the day where characters are and so far (still early) same characters everywhere not much deviation per day so to speak. EPCOT still holding the best (most) opportunities. There are things that were available that so far are NOT back or wont be coming back or i haven't seen yet i thought she would love. Hopefully as time passes more will be re introduced. Still have a few months (6months) before we go. It is value season so i hope that doesnt mean LESS but probably will. refurbs and down attractions and rides and characters etc.

More or less rides are cool we will have fun just randomly getting on probably whatever. character meets are a huge plus for her. Mom is indiferent on rides and I am as well. Cept a few Star wars things really interest me and would be a nice reward for dad. Not sure if little one would take on or not. Millennium ride and the Resistance would be amazing for me but would pass if have to to make sure she stays happy. (PLAN...maybe tire MOM and little one out....go back to resort for din and bed DAD sneak away go back to HS for his cool rides) I am not sure. but we will see. I would have to ask mom and see if that is a plan or not.

I will be looking for a post or create one regarding HOW do MOM and DAD get to play if Little One is asleep in the stroller? Does this happen much or too anyone? Rider swap?

Cheers all.
 

paopiru

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 13, 2018
Hi!! Glad to hear you will have a magical experience then. RoTR has child swap so you both can ride, each at a time, staying the other parent with your princess.
My first visit with my boys was mostly centered in character M&G and if it is within your budget try ADR for Tusker House, California Grill, Hollywood and Vine or even other character meals outside the parks. IMO is the best way for little ones to have the best interactions with the characters. They are no rushed and if she is shy for instance you can have second chances with them. Sometimes waiting in line makes them grumpy and they won't enjoy the experience as much
 
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DrummerBoy523

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Good read. Makes my heart hurt a little bit as I hear frequently that with all the changes going on good and or bad, Will we be able to really enjoy the vacation? Granted WE have nothing to compare it to. WE are not a Entitlement family by any means. This isnt implying those that dont like the improvements or changes are, I just simply mean we are a roll with punches kind of family and Play the concerns as they arise. We will obviously have a more pronounced opinion after the fact. (dad will try not to go BILL BURR and get us kicked out of the parks by offending someone, somehow :). Saying this For people that have NEVER BEEN we lack a comparrison so hopefully we wont miss it or feel a lack of magic. (fingers crossed) really this is for the little one and MOM, DAD will probably hit kid mode once we are their and relaxing a bit.
TOTALLY agree with the MDE app (again havent tried ) BUT have played and seen reviews. Getting up that early SIMPLY for selections seems a tad extreme. AND also the fact to do so requires additional $$. What i see is im paying to Get up early book something that may or may not work on vacations. I feel they will adjust stuff between the time i write this and the time we depart. AND (sorry everyone) IF (knock on wood it doesnt happen) The economy goes in the tank may change things FOR THE BETTER for the customers.
I "enjoyed" our trip - but just not as much as in years' past. When we go to WDW, we want to plan it all and not feel stressed. The Genie+ just stressed us out and made it much "less" enjoyable.
 

megs1313

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
the getting up at 7 during vacation and the state of Epcot were both things that bothered me quite a bit. And I'm with you on AK. We do the safari, the two avatar rides and Everest and we're done. if you have LLs for a couple of those, you really only need like two hours at most and it's SO MUCH WALKING for so little reward. I've already said we would need park hoppers for any future trips just to stomach the idea of AK (my daughter's favorite ride in all parks is FOP and my other daughter's favorite ride in all parks is EE.)

We're still planning to go regularly, but we're planning fewer park days and more resort days.
 

LeeLee'sMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
I have been several times since the start of the pandemic and going back in August. Yes things have changed, getting less for more $$ etc., but all in all the experience is different for everyone. Obviously we still enjoyed our last few trips as we are going back but I do not feel the magic is gone, it may be scattered a little further "apart" but all in all we still have a fantastic time.
 

sipnride

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
I remember going in 2014, my kids 3 and 9, just feeling like the whole thing was way too exhausting and expensive to ever return. I was visiting WDW the way someone visits six flags, trying to pack in all the rides, plus I was annoyed with a fast pass and ADR system that required planning much further ahead than my job made possible, staying offsite because we couldn't afford to stay onsite and feeling as though the place was rigged against those of us who didn't have the means to pay $200 a night. I distinctly remember going to Universal and asking myself, why would I waste all the time money and energy for a Disney vacation when I could go to Universal and do it at a fraction of cost and lead time.

A couple years later, we returned to Orlando intending to go to Universal, but at the behest of my better - and wiser - half, we stayed at the WDW Hilton and planned several days to visit WDW resorts and Disney Springs. My whole perspective changed. Since then, we've returned every year except 2020, and we fit the theme parks and their attractions into our vacation, as opposed to planning a vacation that revolves around the theme parks, and I'm never disappointed because WDW is much more consistent about delivering a great vacation than it is a great day at a theme park. BG, Universal, Sea World, they're all designed to deliver a great day at the parks. We regularly vacation at resorts in Williamsburg cause it ain't that far and we've had BG passes for years. That park is awesome. The vacations are just ok.

To say that Animal Kingdom is a half day park, well, at this point I don't really want to spend more than half a day of my vacation at any one park, so I think that's perfect. But we absolutely MUST spend at least on entire day at Animal Kingdom Lodge, even If we're not staying there, though booking SV there is always one of my top 2 or 3 priorities for any trip to WDW. And regardless of which WDW resort I'm staying at the focus is typically how I'm going to spend our time at the resort first, which non-park dining and entertainment do we want to include second, and which parks/attractions will we squeeze in comes after that, and we haven't found any reason to be disappointed. Each have been great, yet distinct, vacations: relaxing, entertaining, with plenty of room for spontaneity, and each getting a touch of unexpected adventure.

And when we visit the parks, so much more enjoyable. One time we spent an entire morning looking for all the animals carved into the tree of life. It was so much fun. Another time we spent an afternoon exploring Tom Sawyer Island, and another afternoon shopping eating and drinking in the Mexico pavilion. I'd probably never even noticed these areas of the parks before. OTOH we probably spent two hours total to get on RoTR. If spending $15 on lightning lane to ride GoTG means I get an hour back to explore another part of the park that's worth it to me, but if that doesn't pan out for whatever reason, I'm also fine with that too, because I know that time will wind up being great vacation time regardless.
 

paopiru

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 13, 2018
I remember going in 2014, my kids 3 and 9, just feeling like the whole thing was way too exhausting and expensive to ever return. I was visiting WDW the way someone visits six flags, trying to pack in all the rides, plus I was annoyed with a fast pass and ADR system that required planning much further ahead than my job made possible, staying offsite because we couldn't afford to stay onsite and feeling as though the place was rigged against those of us who didn't have the means to pay $200 a night. I distinctly remember going to Universal and asking myself, why would I waste all the time money and energy for a Disney vacation when I could go to Universal and do it at a fraction of cost and lead time.

A couple years later, we returned to Orlando intending to go to Universal, but at the behest of my better - and wiser - half, we stayed at the WDW Hilton and planned several days to visit WDW resorts and Disney Springs. My whole perspective changed. Since then, we've returned every year except 2020, and we fit the theme parks and their attractions into our vacation, as opposed to planning a vacation that revolves around the theme parks, and I'm never disappointed because WDW is much more consistent about delivering a great vacation than it is a great day at a theme park. BG, Universal, Sea World, they're all designed to deliver a great day at the parks. We regularly vacation at resorts in Williamsburg cause it ain't that far and we've had BG passes for years. That park is awesome. The vacations are just ok.

To say that Animal Kingdom is a half day park, well, at this point I don't really want to spend more than half a day of my vacation at any one park, so I think that's perfect. But we absolutely MUST spend at least on entire day at Animal Kingdom Lodge, even If we're not staying there, though booking SV there is always one of my top 2 or 3 priorities for any trip to WDW. And regardless of which WDW resort I'm staying at the focus is typically how I'm going to spend our time at the resort first, which non-park dining and entertainment do we want to include second, and which parks/attractions will we squeeze in comes after that, and we haven't found any reason to be disappointed. Each have been great, yet distinct, vacations: relaxing, entertaining, with plenty of room for spontaneity, and each getting a touch of unexpected adventure.

And when we visit the parks, so much more enjoyable. One time we spent an entire morning looking for all the animals carved into the tree of life. It was so much fun. Another time we spent an afternoon exploring Tom Sawyer Island, and another afternoon shopping eating and drinking in the Mexico pavilion. I'd probably never even noticed these areas of the parks before. OTOH we probably spent two hours total to get on RoTR. If spending $15 on lightning lane to ride GoTG means I get an hour back to explore another part of the park that's worth it to me, but if that doesn't pan out for whatever reason, I'm also fine with that too, because I know that time will wind up being great vacation time regardless.
So nice that you did not give up on Disney and found a way that suit your family needs to just go with the flow and enjoy the whole experience
If it had been a once in a life time trip maybe that perspective would have changed. I am planning my second trip and probably the last one, and when talking to my boys about the rides they were willing to ride and memories they have from the last trip, I was pleasently surprised the park they enjoyed the most was EPCOT.
That day I had been planing only a half day park time, returning for the night show only. They got really into doing Remy's hunt and eating around the world. Enjoying different shows and character meet and greets and roding soaring, test track and three caballeros. No stress...best memories for them! We spent the whole day at Epcot from rope drop to extra magic hours. No break.
 








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